Transformap Community Report #1: 31 March 2016
Dear transformap friends and contributors,
This is the first so-called Community Report. Over the past months, we have been indeed very bad at making sure the wider Transformap community is well informed, we are very much aware of that. So first, we would like to apologize for that.
So in our learning process, we have decided to aim at a bi-weekly Community Report that will provide some key updates along three categories: Tech development, Community development and Project management (this is a temporary category that is connected to specific financial streams).
Each community report will be sent on the mailing lists (check the recipient of this email) and archived on our forum where you are encouraged to ask clarification questions, give feedback, ideas, etc.
In introduction to this report, we have to bring back a little bit of context.
In January 2015, the community held a conclave in Potsdam, deciding on a working structure in circles where consent was the modus operandi for taking decisions.
At about the same time, we learned that our application (attached) to the EU program CHEST funding was successful, meaning we would have secured 60 000€ of co-funding. The two non profits GetActive and EcoBytes being the official legal bodies to manage that funding. That funding was however delayed due to a tough legal conflict between the EU Commission and the CHEST consortium. That funding finally started last October, with the first money transfer.
In the mean time, we had another community meeting in June 2015 in Munich, where it was decided, not without tensions, that Josef Kreitmayer and Michael Maier would proceed in putting together a proposal for the SSEDAS project („Social & Solidarity Economy as Development Approach for Sustainability“ ) to setup their mapping platform as a Transformap prototype (partly at least).
In September, we held a Roadmap workshop at the Solikon Conference in Berlin, gathering community inputs on priorities for the development of our socio-technical infrastructure.
In the Autumn 2015, a core team composed of Josef Kreitmayer (GetActive) Gualter Barbas Baptista (EcoBytes), Michael Maier and Jon Richter spent a lot of time in planning the operationalization of those two project funding into the Transformap process (note the difference between 'projects' and 'process'). This was, and still is, very complex for various reasons: technical complexity (this is now partly under control), financial setup involving two different funding sources and two funding recipients (this is in the finalization phase), horizontality of the collective clashing with project managerial constraints (this is still an open tension).
Finally, a hackathon was held with developers (Jon, Gualter, Michael, Maxime) in Witzenhausen in the first weeks of February to put together the first blocks of the Transformap API (an engine that can take data from one place and put data in another place - a key piece of infrastructure in other words).
This brings us to the last weeks that are summarized in the section below!
The API (application program interface) was tested and works. Developers who would like to use it or fork, it's here: https://github.com/TransforMap/data.transformap.co
This API is key to further develop the Transformap infrastructure
[need more here] @almereyda
April Berlin Events
We are convening a VoCamp (Vocabulary Camp) in Berlin this 12th of April to explore similarities in the vocabularies used by existing mapping initiatives. Want to participate? Help organize the event? Check the pad here https://text.allmende.io/p/transformap-2016-april
On 13th of April we celebrate (because it's always good to celebrate!) our community at the Thinkfarm Berlin: cooking and eating together with a relaxed evening. Please register here: https://attending.io/events/celebrating-2-years-of-transformap
While we've failed to inform the historic community, the Transformap collective at large (visit the Who's who to check new members) has continued to network and expand, connecting to other like-minded projects. To get an overview you may check the mind map of the Transformap community - and feel free to collaborate, it's open!
Our friends at Communecter (Tibor) have launched their city-based platform. This allows you to create projects, initiative profiles, events, to share news with your neighbours or your city council, etc. And all this is being developed as a commons: from software to data! And better: it is built for interoperability! This means we are part of the same ecosystem and collaboration lies ahead. You can support them by chipping in their crowdfunding campaign (English version to come soon).
We've established a good connection with Maia Demireva from France and the Semeoz non profit. They collect stories of constructive change and in particular maps. They have gathered over 160 maps in French! There is also a Facebook group to gather those maps.
Our friends of http://metamaps.cc would need a couple hundred euros to add an import function that would allow making mind maps from an excel sheet or a dataset a two click task. In other words a great feature to improve the whole app and bring in more data, opening the door towards interoperability one step at a time. We are looking at our current budget to see if we have enough resources to dedicate a small bounty for the metamaps developers for that specific feature. Is that a good idea?
This section is specifically about the management of the CHEST and SSEDAS funding streams. As a self-organized collective we would have liked never to have to talk about project management, but constraints attached to such funding have forced some of us to take that hat (mainly Josef, for GetActive, and Gualter, for EcoBytes).
We need to make serious thinking about how to better manage money in the future, to make sure it reinforces the commoning process. For this, WE NEED YOU! We've started a conversation here: https://discourse.transformap.co/t/separate-commons-and-commerce-to-make-it-work-for-the-commons/625
Check the update from Josef about the recent news connected to the CHEST and SSEDAS funding management: https://discourse.transformap.co/t/bi-weekly-community-report/1007/4
If you would like to further understand the current process from the 'project management' perspective, or in other words, where the money goes, you can have a look at the budget. It's for the moment still hard to navigate. Soon will come a better version. We'll keep you updated about that! Link to budget: https://discourse.transformap.co/t/chest-ssedas-combined-budget-proposal/850
Deliverables of the CHEST funding are in the application (attached). Call-3-Application-Form_TransforMap_final.pdf (405.7 KB)